“You’ll find a million reasons not to ask for help, but there is everything to be gained by asking.” – Laura’s story

Laura case study

Laura* approached the Printing Charity for support after becoming her husband’s full-time carer almost overnight, when he had a breakdown and was no longer able to work following insurmountable financial challenges.

Their circumstances meant that they were unable to access full benefits, and were subject to an unaffordable mortgage interest rate. The couple were dealt an additional blow when Laura suddenly lost her sight, becoming officially classed as sight impaired. She had retrained in order to be able to work to support them both, but was then no longer able to do the work she had retrained for.

By January 2023, the couple were regularly reliant on foodbanks. A number of different organisations provided support, but that support was not ongoing. As Laura says: “We had run out of options.”

Being eligible for support was “like a miracle”

Against this backdrop, Laura came across the Printing Charity during an online search for potential new support sources. “To me it was a really long shot,” she says, “I never felt I’d worked in print.” However, when she started a conversation with the Printing Charity team, they identified that her work in a typesetting studio meant she was eligible for support, as did the fact that her parents had owned a stationery shop. “My background is very complicated, for various reasons,” Laura explains. “Despite this, we were still eligible for support, which, at this point, was just like a miracle.”

Financial support from the Printing Charity provided security for the couple, and meant Laura’s husband could put into practice the treatment necessary to help him recover from the impact of his severe OCD and late autism diagnosis. Laura explained: “Until we received our Printing Charity grant, we had literally nothing – everything was going to pay bills, and often we didn’t have sufficient money for food. Now, we have the security of having food without having to worry, and this winter we have been able to use our central heating to take the chill off the coldest days, something we have not been able to do since 2011. Now, at last, my husband can afford to undertake small rehabilitation activities, such as catching a train, visiting a shop and spending time in a café. If it hadn’t been for the Printing Charity we would not have been able to progress with his treatment, during which it’s crucial for him to get out in the world.”

Asking for help alleviates day to day struggles

Laura understands the challenges people face with taking that first step and asking for help. “One of the issues when you first fall off a financial cliff edge is that if you’re someone who doesn’t ask for help it’s very difficult to make that move. You feel like a failure,” she states. “You’ll find a million reasons not to ask, but there so much to be gained from asking. It isn’t just the money, it’s the sense of relief that day to day struggles are alleviated. Initially asking for help felt like it was compounding the problem, but it was the right thing to do. We have been so lucky that the Printing Charity was out there for us when we needed help – it has been life changing for us. We are so grateful and offer heartfelt thanks to everyone who supports them. Things were very dark and the Printing Charity gave us hope.”

The conversation Laura started with the Printing Charity provided her and her husband with a way forward. Please get in touch to start a conversation about ways we may be able to help you.

*name has been changed

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